As we told you yesterday, the city thinks it might save anywhere from $8.7 million to $855 million if voters approve a financial reform/tax hike measure on the November ballot.

That’s quite a range. Too much of one, in fact, says one city critic who’s mulling a lawsuit over what she think are inaccurate estimates. She’s not the only one.

We’ve got more coverage. The city has given us a new breakdown of those figures. And we’ve checked in with the office of the city’s independent budget analyst. An official wouldn’t even hazard a guess (apparently due to the hazards of guessing) about whether the numbers are right or wrong.

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• The mayor declared the other day that San Diego is the only city to be engaging in discussions about reforming health insurance for retired city employees.

Can that possibly be right? Our fact checkers say the answer is: No. It’s false.

This is important because the mayor’s statement gives the impression that the city is a lone wolf on the reform front, at least in this area. Voters might take claims like this into account. But this one isn’t true.

• It can be tough to interpret the school test scores that come out every year. Our savvy education reporter knows how to bring meaning to the numbers: she has found the scores for schools that she’s written about over the past year. Some of them were previously in trouble, but guess what: all improved.

• The board of the scandal-plagued redevelopment agency that serves southeastern San Diego has changed the rules so the current interim director could be hired permanently.

• Question for you: What words are unique to San Diego? There’s “Zonie,” of course. The weird names we have for residents of towns — Obecians (OB), Powegians (Poway), Del Martians. And, of course, there are very rude nicknames for places (I’m looking at you, Rancho Peñasquitos and Santee.)

Can you think of any lingo that’s purely San Diegan? If so, drop me a line. I’m working on a story about the language of San Diego, from our slang to our accents.

• Due to an editing error, an incorrect link appeared in yesterday’s Morning Report in the last paragraph. My editor meant to link to a photo of some guy and the lovely “ladies” — complete with surprise packages — who work at Lips, the San Diego drag-queen restaurant. It hosted my birthday celebration the other day.

You now have more information than you require.


Never mind that alert about a shark or sharks lurking in the ocean off La Jolla. Lifeguards think most of the sightings were of dolphins, not sharks.

Back in 2008, a 66-year-old retired veterinarian was attacked and killed by a great white shark in the water near Solana Beach.

• “Ruh-roh,” as CityBeat puts it, is right.

The paper reports that the U-T, which has editorialized against the county supervisor “slush funds” (grant money they hand out individually) has benefited from the funds itself.

An organization that promotes the big Torrey Pines golf tournament got a $25,000 grant and will use it for a “rebranding campaign.” The beneficiary? The U-T, through advertising. That’s right: the paper got taxpayer dollars from a grant program it claims to despise.

• The U-T debuted the much-ballyhooed redesign of it print edition yesterday along with smaller pages. Gone is “The San Diego Union-Tribune” in gothic type at the top of the front page. Now, it says “The San Diego U-T” with the U-T in giant letters.

The paper also shrunk its physical size.

Back in 2000, I wrote a story about another U-T redesign, this one when the paper cut its width. The redesign eliminated curlicues in the paper’s “flag” (the big name on the front page), and I cracked that “The frill is gone.” (Har har. I’m such a card!)

The paper got some 500 complaints, but none about the missing curlicues.

• Finally, a bit of personal news: Last week, our CEO Scott Lewis told you in this space that he was going on baby-cation. Yesterday, Ashley P. Lewis — Scott’s wife and our editorial cartoonist — gave birth to their first child, Xavier Patrick Lewis.

We expect this whippersnapper to file his first San Diego political analysis piece within the week. Snap to it, little one! Our columns don’t write themselves, you know.

Oh wait. I’m being told our columns do write themselves, thanks to all the shenanigans that happen around these parts. Never mind. Carry on.


Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at

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